Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Step-by-Step Guide

Let us help you gear up for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend being held September 30 – October 1, 2011! Whether you are racing in the 5K or the half marathon, or cheering on a participant, this weekend will also offer time to dine on international foods at the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Be sure to check out our Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend pages for all the info you need!

Calendar of Events

Friday, September 30

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Expo
Jostens Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Expo is a two-day event filled with fun, fitness and food! This is where runners will register for the weekend events, pick up numbers and goody bags, and attend any seminars or events having to do with the races.

Pre-Race: Race waiver forms are ready to be downloaded and printed. Fill out the waiver and bring it with you to the Expo so you can receive your race number. Go ahead and take care of it out now! Pack the waiver with your other race essentials. Download here.

Now is a good time to review your Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, Family 5K, and Disney Kids’ Final Race Instructions. Unable to attend Packet Pick-Up? See Absentee instructions.

Will you wear a costume? Costumes are permitted in the Half Marathon. No face masks and costumes must not “be questionable or offensive” to others.

Transportation: Buses from Host Resorts will leave every 20 minutes. Look for runDisney logo in the front window of bus. Buses will run from one half hour prior to Expo opening until one half hour after Expo closing.

Step 1: Pick up your race packet at the HP Field House, then proceed to the Jostens Center for your t-shirt and goody bag.

Note: Your race packet should contain Half Marathon Bib Number with B-tag attached, Bag Check Sticker, Finish Line Party Guide, Finish Line Party Wristband, $10 Disney Gift Card, Pre-purchased commemorative pin if applicable.

Step 2: Pick up pre-purchased items. You will need to show your ID to pick up your items including commemorative Ears.

Step 3: Purchase any tickets needed for [Read more…]

Review: Pop Century Resort’s Tie Dye Cheesecake

After featuring the Tie-Dye Cheesecake recipe on Disney Food Blog back in July 2009, I figured it was high time to review it!

Found at Disney World’s Pop Century Resort, this unique dessert has been a staple since the resort’s opening in 2003. And one reason why I think it’s particularly special (besides the fact that it’s gorgeous) is that it’s one of only a few unique, resort-specific desserts found on Disney World property (Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Zebra Domes and Port Orleans French Quarter’s beignets are two others in the club).

While this cake looks crazy, it’s actually pretty simple in structure. A multi-colored [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland Accepted at Several Quick-Service Spots and Lounges

This update in from DFB columnist Erin Foster, who’s walking the World right now!

Disney World’s Tables in Wonderland discount program (formerly the Disney Dining Experience program) is available to Florida Residents and Annual Passholders for a fee, and offers a 20% discount on food and beverage at select locations.

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

You can now get your Tables in Wonderland discount at the following quick service locations and lounges. There is no gratuity charged at the quick service restaurants, so the 20% off is pure savings.: [Read more…]

New “Designer” Burgers at Disney World

After debuting the snazzy new hot dogs at Lunching Pad, Disney decided that it’s time to make bigger, better burgers!

Cheddar cheeseburger at ABC Commissary is topped with fried shrimp

Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: Angus burger topped with Cheddar cheese, guacamole and bacon.

Epcot
Liberty Inn:
1. Veggie burger with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, tomato and lettuce
2. Angus burger topped with smoked ham, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, red onion, tomato, pickle, lettuce and mustard aioli sauce.

Electric Umbrella: Mushroom-blue burger with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, blue cheese, fried onion straws, lettuce and [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!”: Breakfast

We’re headed back to our “Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!” series today

I did a post a couple of weeks back titled The Five Best Things I Ate In Disneyland, which sparked a fun series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Based on some keen suggestions from readers, we’ll be splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks, entrees (lunch and dinner), and desserts & drinks.

Today, let’s talk breakfast! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the Best Thing They Ever Ate for breakfast at Disney. I must say, the conclusions aren’t all that shocking, but they are delicious! Here’s what we’ve all come up with:

Mickey Waffles

Ah, the glorious little Mickey Waffle! I have no idea why these little guys taste as wonderful as they do, but it’s like melt-in-your-mouth happiness as soon as you bite into one (you think I’m being overly dramatic, but I promise, they’re delicious).

Multi Grain Mickey Waffles from The Wave!

Luckily, you can get them all over Disney World (I have a partial list here) — book a breakfast buffet and you’re almost sure to see them. If you’d rather not deal with locking off time for a full meal, head to [Read more…]

A Collection of Awesome Stuff

Two of my favorite people sent me some very cool things recently, and I wanted to share them with you on this “freeform Saturday” post.

First of all, a beautiful food pic from James Chapman. This is Le Cellier‘s sausage and corn polenta appetizer, which is out of this world delicious. It’s just too pretty not to give it the spotlight. Thanks for Mickey-fying the plates, James — how did you know that Le Cellier’s butter balls are my favorite part of the meal?

Le Cellier Sausage and Corn Polenta Appetizer

Le Cellier Sausage and Corn Polenta Appetizer

And secondly, I wanted to share with you some “random observations” from Jeff Kocan‘s recent trip. They’re too witty not to print as-is:

Just random observations that I meant to bring up: [Read more…]

Donuts! The New Interactive Dessert!

So, I find it fascinating that of the four new restaurants that recently opened in Walt Disney World (Sanaa, Kouzzina, T-Rex, and Paradiso 37), three of them have donuts on their dessert menus!

Donuts! With dipping sauces and everything! Interactive desserts are my favorite, and I have been called the “condiment queen.” So you can imagine how excited I am to have dip-able desserts, and the fact that they’re donuts makes them that much better. Let’s take a look at the three up-and-comers now:

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina’s Loukoumades
Kouzzina is Iron Chef Cat Cora’s signature restaurant in Walt Disney World, and the menu consists of many of her favorite traditional Greek recipes. One of these recipes is for her outstanding Loukoumades.

These “Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey” come to the table with two delicious dipping sauces, including [Read more…]

WDW Moms Panel: Good Eats When Going Solo at Disney

Earlier this week, we had a guest post giving some tips and tricks on dining solo in Disney World. Today, in our fifth post in the Walt Disney World Moms Panel mini-series, I asked the moms what they would eat in Disney World if they were blissfully alone for a whole day. Get ready for some delicious answers!

From Mom Anna S.

Without children in tow, I would start my day off at the Grand Floridian Café for some lobster eggs Benedict. This is about the most delicious and indulgent way to start your day at Walt Disney World! Although I will admit, my sweet tooth would be crying out for the stuffed croissant!

Kaki Gori from Epcot's Japan

Kaki Gori from Epcot's Japan

It’s off to EPCOT to explore the shops that my children usually are too bored to enjoy, and lunch at the best location on the planet for “fast” food – the Yakitori House. A Japanese Curry for lunch, followed by a Kaki Gori at the shaved ice stand, is a perfect balance of flavors and textures – sort of a fire and ice combo.

After an exhausting day shopping, I am off for my favorite meal anywhere on Walt Disney World property – the filet mignon and macaroni and cheese at Jiko. Arguably the best meal I’ve had anywhere, my mouth waters just thinking about the level to which the Jiko chefs have elevated this simple meal.

The day does not end until I swing back into the Magic Kingdom, where I’ll enjoy my dessert – the world famous Dole Whip with fresh pineapple spears on the side. Although, with no children tagging along, I’ll have a WHOLE Dole Whip to myself, and I may not have room for the sweet juicy pineapple!

From Mom Erin F.

I’m lucky enough to go on an annual solo vacation to Disney World; I’ve been three times so far, with the fourth trip coming up in January. My dream breakfast is beignets at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter — calories don’t count on vacation! Then it’d be anything hot and fried –- mini donuts at Blizzard Beach, fried dough, etc.

One thing I really enjoyed on my last solo trip was going to the Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge — I got a raspberry mojito and the flatbread from Artist Point.

My dream dinner? Jiko!

From Mom Jennifer W.

If left alone for one day at WDW the choices for incredible food would be endless. It’s funny to think that when I first started going to WDW I thought the only meals available were character meals! However, over the years I have learned that there is so much more!

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

But with that said, I honestly think I would start my day at one of my favorite breakfast spots … the Crystal Palace at the MK. It just does not get any better than biscuits and gravy, potatoes, eggs, and sausage, and of course if there is room, how can one resist the Mickey Mouse waffles?

I would then need to walk some distance before enjoying lunch! I think this would be eaten at the Cantina de San Angel in Mexico. Just a quick lunch where I would enjoy a wonderful taco salad and perhaps a tasty margarita as well. And no afternoon at WDW is complete without a Mickey Mouse ice cream. Frozen to perfection, I truly can say I love these.

Okay now dinner? Ohhhh that is so incredibly hard to choose! I think for this particular day I’m going for a fantastic meal at Jiko! On my last visit there, I was amazed by everything I tried. The seafood and steak dishes were by far my favorite. As I walked home completely full and satisfied I think I would call this a great day, but wait – on the way out of the park there are those darn Rice Krispy treats with chocolate on them! Oh well, everyone needs a midnight snack!

From Mom Jodi G.

I’d go with a light breakfast, and then have lunch at the Brown Derby. The grapefruit cake and the Cobb salad are my favorites.

For dinner, I’d just roam around the World Showcase eating the best from each country – crepes, funnel cakes, pretzels… etc.

From Mom Kara B.

After much thought, I decided the California Grill would be a great way to celebrate ME! I could spend as much time as I wanted leisurely enjoying an elegant multi-course meal with no little kids bugging me to eat fast so we can go back to the Magic Kingdom.

Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

The views there are worth a million bucks, so I’d have to have a window seat so I could soak in all beauty of the Seven Seas Lagoon and its surroundings, especially the Magic Kingdom. And then there is the outdoor balcony areas, which before the fireworks are so wonderfully peaceful looking out at the entire WDW resort area; a true moment of zen to gather one’s thoughts and think of all the good in the world.

I also have to admit I was tempted to put down the Wishes Dessert Buffet, which I have yet to try. I think it would be a great way to socialize and meet people, indulge on sweets, and catch a premium seat to watch Wishes.

PS: I’d also love to have room service in Cinderella’s Castle Suite.

From Mom Joanne M.

Oooh, fun question. I would head to (or hopefully I’m already staying there) Stormalong Bay at the Beach and Yacht Club and start with a delicious cocktail at the poolside bar. Then I would head over to the Flying Fish on the Boardwalk. I have to be honest and tell you it’s not because it has my favourite dish, but because we had to cancel our August reservation because my daughter was sick. It’s long been on my list to try, and I would love to enjoy it at a relaxed pace.

From Mom Heather R.

Alone – I can’t even imagine it!

I’m not generally a big breakfast gal, so anywhere I could grab a decent cup of coffee an everything bagel with smoked salmon would make me happy. I used to say Starring Rolls in Hollywood Studios, but unfortunately the last time I was there the lox was no longer an option.

The Famous Flying Fish at Flying Fish Cafe

The Famous Flying Fish at Flying Fish Cafe

For lunch, a bowl of clam chowder at Columbia Harbor House always makes me happy.

Dinner is always my biggest meal of the day, and what a tough decision! I think I’ll go with the Flying Fish, a perrennial favorite. I’d start with the Chardonnay-steamed Maine Coast Blue Hill Bay Mussels. Although I’m not always a huge fennel fan, these are delicious. Strange as it sounds at a seafood restaurant, the Char Crusted New York Strip Steak there is fantastic and in my opinion, among ofthe best steaks to be had in Disney.

I don’t usually indulge in sweets, but if I were to make an exception, the beignets at Port Orleans are really yummy.

And a drink/treat? Definitely a Grey Goose Slush from Epcot.

Gosh, I just realized I’ve spent my whole hypothetical day running back and forth to different eateries! Now that really IS blissful!

From Mom Whitney P.

I’m always on a quest to try something new when I’m at Disney, rather than visiting old haunts, so I’d probably make a bee-line to the new Kouzzina, showplace of fellow Mississippian Cat Cora.

The Birth of a Dole Whip Float

The Birth of a Dole Whip Float

Even though I’m not much for eating table service alone (although some of my fellow Disney Panel Moms–and Dads–do), I’d have to make an exception for this restaurant. I love to make meals out of an array of appetizers, so I’d probably order her Kouzzina spreads of Chickpea Hummus, Kalamata Fig, and Harissa Yogurt along with the Spanakopita! (And that’s what I’m planning on doing when I go with my family in October!)

My favorite drink? Hands down Disney’s Pina Colava, a raspberry sauce-laced pina colada. It’s a given when I’m at Brown Derby, but I’ve also enjoyed it at Sanaa and Teppan Edo. It tends to be seasonal, but if it’s not on the menu, I’ll ask anyway!

And no visit to Magic Kingdom would be complete without a Dole Float, a favorite of mine and fellow Disney Mom Margaret.

From Mom Beth C.

I would go during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and sample all of the treats from around the world. I did this last September and really enjoyed myself. I finally had the opportunity to eat at the Tangierine Café in Morocco. I had been wanting to try this restaurant for years but my schedule when touring with my family never worked out. This was the perfect opportunity to try this cafe. The food was delicious and fresh and eating it out side listening to the Moroccan music was a perfect way to enjoy a lunch alone.

From Mom Jo Y.

Well first I’d have to have a funnel cake, we don’t have them here in the UK so I have to have one every single trip. Just plain though, no strawberries or ice-cream.

Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich

Counter Service would have to be Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney; I would order The Full Montagu with beef, turkey, cheese and salad followed by a delicious cupcake.

Whilst in DTD I’d nip over to Goofy’s Candy Company to make my own rice crispy treat. I would cover it in milk chocolate, rolled in choc chips and drizzled in caramel.

Dinner would be at Narcoossee’s, where I’d dine on filet mignon with potato gratin followed by key lime crème brulee. If I still had room after that I’d visit the Magic Kingdom for a pineapple Dole Whip float from Aloha Isle, and then waddle back to my resort!

From Mom Kim L.

I would begin with breakfast at Boma. I’d request a cozy table near the window. Afterwards, I would walk around the resort.

For a mid-day treat, I am heading to the Grand Floridan for afternoon tea in the Garden View Lounge. I would choose strawberries and cream along with lemon pound cake. I highly recommend the Princess Breakfast tea.

My evening would end with a delightful meal at The Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge. Dim lighting and delectable food provide a perfect way to wind down.

From Mom Kay B.

If traveling alone I would definitely choose spots that not only have great food but also good entertainment. Top spots that I would head to include 50’s Primetime Cafe in Hollywood Studios, where I would not be able to pass up their pot roast, milk shakes, and s’mores for dessert!

Teppan Edo's Sake-Rita

Teppan Edo's Sake-Rita

There are two EPCOT restaurants I would head to and those are the German Biergarten, where I can get my schnitzel and spaetzle, and of course good beer, while watching the show.

Teppan Edo is my other choice for this park since you can watch dinner being prepared right in front of you. I love all the food, chicken, and steaks and seafood, so anything goes here, but it must be accompanied by one of their specialty “umbrella” drinks to make it complete!

In the Magic Kingdom I would head to Casey’s Corner and enjoy a good dog and fries while watching the people on Main Street and listening to the piano player……all the time hoping the ducks won’t take a nibble out of my leg. :)

Absolute snack musts are a bag of popcorn and a hunk of peanut butter fudge from any of the Disney fudge spots!

From Mom Amber V.

If I had a day at Disney World all alone to enjoy my favorites, I would start with Tonga Toast for breakfast at the Kona Cafe. I would be sure to get all of my favorite snacks — dole whip float, popcorn, and Mickey Bars at some point throughout the day.

My choice for lunch would be something quick like a hot dog at Casey’s or a BLT salad from Columbia Harbor House, because I would want to save room for a fabulous dinner at my absolute favorite restaurant — Jiko. Barbecue chicken flatbread, filet mignon with macaroni and cheese, and the pistachio creme brulee is my idea of the perfect meal to end a fabulous day at Disney!

From Dad Doug I.

I do this often, as work travel and book research trips leave me solo in Orlando.

Nothin' like a little popcorn on a Solo Disney Day

Nothin' like a little popcorn on a Solo Disney Day

Typically I seek out whatever is new, but while I love many of the character meals and some of the ones that involve a show (like 50’s Prime Time or Whispering Canyon Cafe), many are ones where going solo just makes me feel a bit out of place. So some of my favorite solo dining places that I like to frequent include:

Breakfast: Kona Cafe at the Polynesian (Strictly for the Tonga Toast!)
Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ or Tangierine Cafe
Dinner: California Grill
Snack: Popcorn from the carts as you enter the Magic Kingdom. Walt would have wanted it that way!

Dirty Little Confession: While I like all that, I have to confess that I have dined, on more than one occasion, at “Snackapalooza!”. Don’t waste your time searching for it on a park map. I coined this phrase for those times where instead of going to a restaurant, I ‘surf’ the World Showcase promenade, getting a few different nibbles from the national pavilions. I love getting a bite here, a bite there, and sampling cuisines from around the globe!

From Mom Margaret F.

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a few solo trips to Disney world, and while I was first worried that I would be lonely or look out of place, I quickly discovered how much I have still missed while rushing after my children on our family trips.

The Porch at Tony's Town Square

The Porch at Tony's Town Square

I love eating at Tony’s Town Square and sitting on the outside porch. In an odd way, with all the crowds passing by, it is remarkably peaceful to me.

While the food is delicious, it is such a great place to watch the excitement and joy of the guests as they first enter Magic Kingdom, or to listen to the recaps of their amazing day as they exit the park. Watching the kids (and mom and dad) jump in glee at the sight of Main Street and Cinderella Castle continues to remind me why I love Disney so much.

One of my favorite treats is to grab a Dole Whip Float and sit on a bench near the Castle hub and watch all of the guests stop for a picture by the Partners statute. As I enjoy the best treat on property, it makes me smile to see so many guests stop and admire Walt and Mickey hand in hand, and hopefully Walt knows how much joy he continues to bring to so many everyday.

Thanks again to all the “moms” who are participating in the interviews!

Don’t forget, if you’d like to share your “most magical Disney Dining moment,” send me an email! I’m collecting stories and will post them in the next post of “Chicken Soup for the Disney Foodie soul!”

Snack Series: Beignets at Port Orleans Resort, French Quarter

Made famous at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana, beignets are a delicious, doughnut-like treat. And if you’re lucky enough to visit Sassagoula Floatworks food court at Port Orleans Resort, French Quarter, in Disney World, you can try some yourself!

Sassagoula Floatworks Food Court

Sassagoula Floatworks Food Court

In fact Sassagoula Floatworks, which is themed after a Mardi Gras float-building warehouse, is worth the trip. The spectacle of the partially constructed float decor is a photo-trip in itself!

Sassagoula Floatworks Food Court Decor

Sassagoula Floatworks Food Court Decor

Sassagoula Floatworks Float Decor

Sassagoula Floatworks Float Decor

On my recent WDW trip, I had my first taste of beignets, and I can safely say I’ll be back for more! What I find particularly interesting is that the beignets are not pre-made. In fact, when we ordered them, we had to wait 5-10 minutes while they were made.

First, raw dough was brought into the kitchen from the back and pounded thin.

Step 1 in making the beignets

Step 1 in making the beignets

Second, the beignets were put into the fryer.

Making Beignets Step 2

Making Beignets Step 2

And third, the beignets were removed and dusted with scads of powdered sugar.

Beignet Making Step 3

Beignet Making Step 3

They were as fresh and hot as can be — delicious!

Finished Beignets

Finished Beignets

Inside, the beignets are hollow

Inside, the beignets are hollow

Do you have a favorite Disney Theme Park snack that I should highlight here on the Disney Food Blog? Send me your ideas via twitter, facebook, or email!